A NEW doctors surgery and 45 homes are set to be created as part of a land and buildings sale by Wiltshire Council.

The council is selling off sites which it no longer uses, including fields in Sherston which are earmarked for the development of homes and the GP surgery.

The land, behind Sherston Primary School and next to Lower Stanbridge Farm, has been approved for development in the neighbourhood plan which was recently voted on by villagers.

Now, a developer will be sought to build the homes and surgery.

Phil Cutcher, vice chairman of Sherston Parish Council, said a new GP practice would be needed because The Tolsey Surgery is already busy and couldn't cope with the extra patients generated by 45 more homes in the village.

Cllr Cutcher told the Standard: "Although there are still a lot of hurdles to get past, a new surgery would be a great benefit to the village, and would allow for a much more usable space and be able to deal with any reasonable expansion in the village.”

In September last year, the council set a target of making £24.9million from selling 78 ‘assets’, but new estimates forecast that £29.6m will be generated and subsequently reinvested into areas such as children’s services, social care and road improvements.

Cllr John Thomson, who represents Sherston on Wiltshire Council, said: “The land at Lower Farm is a really interesting project with the community, parish council, Wiltshire Council and local land owner working together to bring some housing to the area.

“The doctors surgery will be owned by county and then the community.

“One big challenge in rural areas is keeping practises open and I think it is very positive Wiltshire Council is delivering this community facility.

“I welcome it being brought so soon after the neighbourhood plan received a large majority of support.”

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for planning, Cllr Toby Sturgis, added: “Sherston neighbourhood plan was one of the frontrunners and now they have finally finished the race.

“I want to congratulate Sherston on their neighbourhood plan. They’ve now got there and we are able to deliver some land that can be disposed of. We thought the plan might have happened a little quicker but it has finally passed the finish line and can now be adopted.”

Council cabinet members authorised the director of housing to dispose of the ‘assets’ – land and buildings.

The Asset Gateway Group will now meet to decide whether land should be sold, commercially developed or moved to a land trust or housing revenue account in order to make the most money for the council.

Since 2017, assets have only been sold if Wiltshire Council approved the new plans for the site and they are linked to community objectives such as to create more housing.

The council said that selling off surplus sites is ‘integral’ to the its financial planning.